CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Last full moon of the decade Stop robocalls Watch the Geminid meteor shower peak Mac Pro Resident Evil 3 remake Best phones of 2019

SpaceX Starship pressure test blows up Musk's Mars rocket prototype

The prototype rocket known as "Mk1" suffered an "anomaly" in Texas Wednesday.

Listen
- 01:31
starshipbang

Starship Mk1 experienced a bit of rapid disassembly.

LabPadre/Screenshot by CNET

It looks as though a little re-assembly may be required on the biggest prototype yet of Elon Musk's Mars Starship

The early version of the next generation SpaceX rocket appeared to fail during a pressurization test, sending billowing clouds of gas and its hood miles into the air at the company's Boca Chica, Texas test site on Wednesday.

A webcam streaming from nearby South Padre Island caught the "anomaly" that occurred at 3:27 p.m. Central Time.

A more distant view catches the sizable hood falling back to the ground:

"The purpose of today's test was to pressurize systems to the max, so the outcome was not completely unexpected," a SpaceX spokesperson told CNET. "There were no injuries, nor is this a serious setback."

Fortunately, SpaceX also has another prototype - "Mk2" - at its Florida facilities, so we may still see the next phase of Starship development soon.   

On Twitter, Musk said SpaceX will take the opportunity to move on to its next iteration, "Mk3," which he says will have a more advanced flight design.

It's important to remember this in no way dooms Starship's development and it's not clear how much it may set the program back, if at all. It seems, however, that Mk1 is pretty much old news now with a SpaceX spokesperson telling CNET " the decision had already been made to not fly this test article and the team is focused on the Mk3 builds, which are designed for orbit."

The previous single-engine prototype, dubbed "Starhopper," successfully performed a few very short hops, topping out at 150 meters (492 feet) earlier this year.  

Now playing: Watch this: SpaceX aces Starhopper rocket test
2:41

Updated 4:22 p.m. PT: Adds comment from SpaceX spokesperson.